I’m deep into the editing of my memoir after receiving notes from my developmental editor a few weeks ago. These are not simply “Capitalize this word,” or “Put this in the past tense,” but “More reflections on your bigger themes.” Stuff I have to mull, figure out how to deepen or sharpen and go into greater lengths on.
I read my first six edited pages to my Writers Group last Monday night to rousing affirmations. They were moved by what I wanted them moved by and complimented me, without my pointing out specifically, the parts I’d added based on my editor’s advice.
That was six pages out of close to 300. My reaction, and it was a familiar one, was, “Can someone else please do this for me?!”
When I have a daunting task ahead of me, like editing my memoir, designing a retreat or new talk, I inevitably hit a wall of resistance and wish that someone else could magically take the reins, jump me over the hurdles, then plop me back on the horse in time to cross the finish line.
Have I ever brought in a sub to take over? Not yet! But something inside me is screaming, “This is too hard!” Fortunately, I’ve learned how to install a softer, gentler voice that says, “Take it slow, Jane. Just do the next two pages…” My dear friend Doreen always says, “By the inch, it’s a cinch. By the yard, it’s hard.” I replay that in my head to this day.
I know that it’s the hard work that brings the biggest rewards and satisfaction. I’ve learned to work through my little-girl-angst and keep going, even though the feeling inside is begging to be rescued from having to do all those pages ahead. I start Chapter 3 this week.
Can you identify with this desire to be saved?